300 Below Inc., Decatur IL, USA
Through the employment of ultra-low temperatures, 300 Below, Inc. helps its customers improve all kinds of products by realigning the molecular structure of an object, optimally resulting in items which last significantly longer and perform far better than they were previously designed. Our proprietary process uses Deep Cryogenic Tempering, for which we have developed an advanced, computer controlled processing system for reliably treating materials used in multiple industries throughout the world. 300 Below specializes in the science of cryogenics and we engineer various liquid nitrogen (LN2) based cooling and freezing systems to perform what is termed as cryogenic processing.
As our company name implies, we treat metal components and parts at minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit to improve their properties. Computer technology allows us to regulate temperatures to 1/10th of a degree, accurately adjusting temperatures optimal for proper cryogenic treatment (or Cryo-Treatment) in accordance with the mass of the object we are treating. By reducing the temperature of an object to around -300ºF, we seek to manipulate and rearrange its molecular structure without damaging the item. By rearranging the molecular structure of an object, and realigning the molecules so that they become more uniform and evenly spread out, we then change various properties associated with the object, such as its wear resistance.
Perhaps the easiest way to understand what actually happens during the process is to picture a group of people walking around a shopping mall. We take these individuals (the molecules) and cram them into one huddled mass in the parking lot (the freezing process) and hold them there for multiple hours. We then tell this group to take one step out, one at a time, (the thawing process) so that they become equidistant from one another. Depending on the product, we may also add various stages of heat treatment using ovens that we maintain in-house to conquer various other stress factors which we seek to eliminate.
Deep Cryogenic Tempering allows for a significant increase in abrasive wear resistance and durability for many metal-based objects. There are also a few other materials which benefit from the process and we’re always experimenting with companies around the globe to see if we can help improve all sorts of products. The increases we’ve seen in tensile strength, toughness and stability may couple with the release of internal residual stresses for different components, and some metals respond better than others. The typical end results observed by our clients include increased product life, increased durability, reduced breakage, easier cleaning abilities, and some very specific enhancements that are dependent entirely upon the project. Many changes are dependent upon the type of steel or metal used in a product, in addition to how a product was formed or created.